By Deborah Pinnock on Jun 1, 2020 12:00:00 PM
Everyone wishes they could see into the future -- but until we inherit that ability, we will have to rely on trends to guide us. As ancillary benefits like dental, vision and medical coverage continue to be desired, here are the 6 ancillary benefits trends for 2020 that you can use to tweak your plan offerings, educate your clients and show them that you have your finger on the pulse of your industry.
1. Employers to Offer Wider Range of Benefits
Chances are, most employers are going to widen the range of their employee benefits packages. They understand the challenge of finding and keeping great talent and that offering rich benefits gives them an edge. So, in addition to vision and dental benefits, employers are likely to offer a slew of other benefits, such as telehealth and teledentistry services, student loan debt help, financial wellness programs, short term loans, pet insurance and more.
2. Personalized Employer Group Benefits
Not only are employers going to be offering more benefits, they are going to work closely with insurance brokers or consultants to customize their benefits packages in a way that reflects their unique employee community. For one company, having identity theft benefits may be a priority. For others, life insurance may be important. So be sure to get current on the needs of your current groups. If it’s a new group, do your homework. This way, you can go prepared with a solid portfolio of benefits that will address their needs.
3. Workplace Wellness Remains Popular
Wellness has become a popular topic wherever employee benefits is discussed these days. Groups know that having a good wellness program helps them improve productivity and keep down healthcare costs. So these days, employers are including gym memberships, health screenings, smoking cessation, prenatal care programs and more Employee Assistance Programs (EAP). Research shows that oral health and conditions like heart disease, diabetes, premature births are connected, which makes dental health a vital part of overall employee wellness. Know this going into the game and make sure your ancillary benefits have a wellness component, along with value added benefits that positively impact employees’ overall health.
4. Groups Look to Brokers to Provide Employee Benefit Education
Some of your employer groups might have a benefits department of one. And because they have so much on their plates, many of them are looking to brokers to help them educate and communicate with employees about their benefits. Perhaps the option that will make your life easier is to select a benefits carrier who will do the work for you. You want insurance providers that are passionate about educating employees and do so all year round. It’s a plus if the content on their website and blog meet URAC readability and health literacy standards, and is recognized by national and international organizations for being effective at reaching consumers.
5. Pet Insurance Growth
America loves pets! According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), 67 percent of American homes have pets. So, it’s not a shock that pet insurance continues to be a popular employee benefit. In fact, more companies are offering employees some type of pet insurance in 2020. Know this in advance so you can add it to your product offerings or take advantage of dental plans that have pet medication discounts.
6. Insurers Focus on Strength of Social Media Strategy
Insurers see the power of leveraging technology. They use it to create a great customer experience, to gather data and remain competitive. One way they are doing this is through an effective social media strategy. Research shows that over 40 percent say that the health information they find on social media influences their healthcare decisions. Employees are also going to social media to find answers to their benefits questions and you even use social media to promote your business. Make sure to follow what insurance carriers are doing and use social media to listen to clients, engage and educate them, and seek to partner with carriers that are doing the same.
You may not be able to see the future, but being knowledgeable about these 6 ancillary benefits trends gives you the information you need to show off your skills as a strategic advisor. While you continue educating yourself, make sure to stay up to date on your CE credits! Click the image below to download a FREE voucher from us for up to 12 credit hours!